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Pochettino can unleash ‘new Kante’ vs Arsenal with Tuchel advice

The fact that some of Chelsea’s greatest players in the past lacked a catchy chant to match their prowess is a tribute to them. Didier Drogba requested that the song “tra la la la la” be added to the end of his name. Frank Lampard was Super Frank, but there wasn’t much else coming from the crowd. Even Eden Hazard used his spells to make crowd members repeat his first and surname names.

Overall, it doesn’t mean much. Willian, for instance, had more to offer and a catchy song to accompany his departure from Tottenham, whilst N’Golo Kante was only really brought up briefly with Tiemoue Bakayoko before fans realized that he had truly lost the ball.

The current squad, for all of its newness, only really had Thiago Silva and Benoit Badiashile that are now serenaded properly with specific chants. Conor Gallagher is in the list of players that have his name repeated shouted back at him, ‘du du du du du du, Conor Gallagher!’

Although he is not in the same league as those named (having already passed over Bakayoko and now facing up against Badiashile), he was once compared to Kante. It was initially just a remark made by former manager Thomas Tuchel, but over time, it has gained real traction.

When assessing his alternatives in the park’s center about 13 months ago, the German resignedly observed, “N’Golo Kante is out, and Conor has about the same profile. That was the closest to a complement Tuchel received from Gallagher. Perhaps he would have received more recognition if he had invested more effort and time in creating the closest replacement for Kante that Chelsea had at the time.

Gallagher was instead put in Kante’s double-six position, although it was obvious that he lacked the focus, assurance, technical skill, or control necessary for the role at the moment. Gallagher is now playing under Mauricio Pochettino and showing why he is such a fantastic player on his own rather than trying to be the next Kante.

Gallagher is matching and outperforming some important Kante indicators from his incredible 2020–21 season, the year in which his star power and individual might in midfield practically led the team to a Champions League victory, even though the sample size is still tiny but expanding.

He makes more progressive passes, which improves his pass accuracy, and he makes more dribbles, carries, and carries of greater distance. He makes the same number of tackles and interceptions and gains possession back just as much as his teammate did the previous season. He also wins more headers.

In 2021, Tony Cascarino remarked that Conor Gallagher was comparable to N’Golo Kante in terms of goals. “Kante is a brilliant player, he does so many good things for the side, but he has never got goals, and I see that in Conor Gallagher.” Gallagher’s impact and hard work are reflected in the fact that he hasn’t actually assisted on a goal this season but still plays a crucial role on the side.

He now ranks third for interceptions and first in the league when it comes to winning possession in the last third of the field. In terms of tackles, he is just behind Yves Bissouma. The Kante-shaped void for Pochettino never really materialized because Gallagher has added to the physical and mental qualities that have made him stand out and impress at every level he has played at thus far.

 

It may be said that Gallagher, even though he hasn’t yet matched Kante’s consistency and success at the top of a league, is currently a more well-rounded player than Kante in terms of all-around ability thanks to his eye for goal.

“Conor is a player that can run a lot and is massive,” Pochettino aptly said when asked about the player he has made captain on four occasions already. “He’s a good professional and he can play in different positions, you can see him playing like an 8, a 10, a 6.

He can play, run, finish in the final third, and assist players like Raheem Sterling. He is a box-to-box player. Since the beginning of the season, he has been doing fantastic. When challenged to enter the box during the 2018–19 season under Maurizio Sarri, Kante established his value as a ball-winner in the final third. Gallagher, however, is a more natural fit for that kind of role, even though he lacks Kante’s air of seek-and-destroy.

The Frenchman established himself as one of the top midfielders in the world over a number of years by contributing significantly to back-to-back championship victories for Chelsea and Leicester.Even if Gallagher will face tougher tests before even the visit from Arsenal on October 21, his stats and profile do not lie. He is currently playing in a team that is not yet prepared to compete at that level.

He is one of the top players in his position this year, and the team’s performance should not overshadow the high individual standards he has attained. It should not be misunderstood that Gallagher is a long way from Kante’s accomplishments in terms of larger-scale dominance, but his name currently prevents him from being mentioned in the context that his accomplishments justify.

When asked about the resemblance, Gallagher made a joke and said, “When he [Tuchel] mentioned that, it did make me laugh and surprise me a little bit. “I feel like he’s the finest midfielder in the world, maybe still now when he’s fit, so it’s obviously a tremendous praise, even if I’m half the player Kante is.

“It is clear that we are different players. He probably travels a little more and is a little smarter than I am. We are therefore distinct players, yes. Without a doubt, the Kante Chelsea could have had at this stage if he had stayed would not have been able to match Gallagher’s strong start to the season.

That Gallagher is currently performing at a high level with the help of his teammates Enzo Fernandez and Moises Caicedo is not to imply that he is currently Kante’s replacement or that he is on a path to come near to the World Cup champion.

He said, “I feel like I can bring energy going forward and defensively as well,” at the moment, perfectly summarizing his style of play. “I’ll do my best to play the position correctly and contribute as much as I can on the field, regardless of where the manager chooses to start me. I can do it, whether it’s to attempt to win the ball back or score goals.

He is a top-tier ball-winner right now, and when he plays for Chelsea again in eight days, his job will be to shut down Arsenal. In his own career, Kante had a dismal record against the Gunners, losing 10 of his 19 matches against them, including his final three for Chelsea. In fact, since the year 2020, Kante has faced Mikel Arteta’s team six times and only won one of those contests.

Kante enjoyed the most success throughout his first five seasons at Stamford Bridge, losing just one of them. Although Gallagher hasn’t had much success playing against the team that will be playing next weekend, he will be hoping to draw on his ex-partner’s strengths to help his team win.

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